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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking at two 4" 357 Magnums. One is nickled & has the smaller checkered panel grips similar to an OP. The other has larger checkered target style grips. Both these guns have adj. rear sight. I was wondering if both sets of grips are correct or one of them has replacements.
 

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shortcut,

You did not mention what type of 357 magnum you were speaking about, but I believe my response should answer your question.

The 2 different types of stocks you are referring to are called Service Stocks & Target Stocks. Both were available and correct on some guns.

As an example, a 357 Magnum Lawman with a 4" barrel in Nickel or Blued could have correctly come with either of the Service or Target stocks, depending on how they were ordered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
WS23 - The example w/ the target stocks was specifically identified as a Target Model 357Magnum. The nickle model w/ service stocks was simply described as a 357 Mag.

It appears both guns are original. Thanks.
 

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Greetings,shortcut! It sounds like you're looking at two, ".357's," from Colt. They don't have any shroud around the cylinder rod, do they? Nor do they have the vent rib like a Python, do they? But one has the broad, beaver tail hammer and one has a skinny hammer? (Those are Colt's, "target," and, "service," hammers.) Same with the stocks - as Colt calls them. The skinny ones are, "service," and the fatties are the, "target," version. If you dig back through old posts from these pages, you'll find a nice history of Colt's .357 by our own, "dfarriswheel." They were Colt's first magnum and the first medium frame magnum from anyone. (He's also posted a story about a shooting involving one!) I think both these guns will just show, "Colt 357," on the left side of the barrel, with 357 magnum cartridge below that. I'm pretty sure, because there's one sitting next to me on my desk here! If you're not interested in the nickel 4", would you tell me who's got it for sale and how much? I can tell you the 6" is definitely in the target class. It will hold its own against the .38 Officer's Models, Troopers, etc. and, dare I say it outloud - EVEN THE PYTHON! I think of the .357's as, "pre-Python magnums." I do miss the barrel rib, though for weight and pointing.
 

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Oops, ... correction. Colt did make a magnum in the SAA and the New Service before the mid-frame .357. The, ".357," was Colt's first medium frame magnum - the .41 frame of the Army Special/Official Police - and were made years before the S&W #19.
 

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Apparently we are discussing a "357" revolver (I do not believe there was a decimal point before the 357, but I do not have mine here at home to verify) introduced in 1953. I do not have my catalog collection at home as I write, but I do not believe any catalog ever mentioned a "Target Model 357." As far as I know, all catalogs identified the revolvers as "357" only. There was, however, an option of target stocks and hammer.

Nickel was not a cataloged finish, but I have a 4-inch that letters as factory nickel. The story I heard is that they were made for a police agency, and either the order was partially cancelled, or some extras were sold commercially.

As I recall, only about 13,000 "357" revolvers were made from 1953 through 1961 when the Trooper was introduced in .357 and the need for the "357" disappeared. While not rare, they are uncommon.
 
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